Topic: food and agriculture

Which governments are doing best/worst in the fight against hunger and undernutrition?

The Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index (HANCI) 2013 measures political commitment to tackling hunger and undernutrition in 45 developing countries. It uses two types of data. Primary data comes from Expert Perception Survey’s (EPS) and provides an in-depth view of six countries in the larger dataset (Bangladesh, Malawi, Zambia, Nepal, Tanzania and India). The secondary […]

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20 million food parcels (and counting): what explains rising food poverty in the UK?

Oxfam works on poverty in the UK as well as elsewhere, and is pretty alarmed at what it is facing there. Here Krisnah Poinasamy, Economic Justice Policy Adviser for our UK programme, introduces a new report on hunger in the UK. Today, Oxfam and its partners released Below The Breadline, a shocking report, which estimates […]

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Help yourself: How do poor women and men understand their right to food?

Naomi Hossain of IDS introduces the latest report (launched today) from a joint IDS/Oxfam research programme on food prices. Do people at risk of hunger think they have a right to food? What does a right to food mean, and how can it be claimed and enforced? We asked these questions of around 1500 people in […]

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Why aren’t we using government purchasing to promote the right to food (among other things)? Great farewell paper from Olivier de Schutter

Oliver de Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food reaches the end of his term at the end of May, leaving some pretty big shoes to fill. He summarized his arguments in March with a final report to the Human Rights Council, but kept on going til the end, with a really thought-provoking […]

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Who Wants to Farm? Hardly any young people, it seems. Should/Could that change?

Since I started globetrotting many decades years ago, I’ve always asked peasants and farm labourers a simple question – ‘would you like your kids to become farmers?’ Across continents, the answer has hardly ever been ‘yes’. That creates a bit of a problem for the ‘peasant romantic’ wing of the aid business, who are then […]

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Why is Coca-Cola championing land rights at the UN?

I usually try and minimize Oxfam’s excessive tendency for trumpet-blowing, but this one from Oxfam America’s private sector czar, Chris Jochnick (@cjochnick), looks worth it – some real progress in working on land rights with the epitome of consumer capitalism This week at the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS), Coca Cola publicly declared that […]

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Top new African Progress Report focusses on farms, fisheries and finance

The Africa Progress Panel (a group of the great and good, chaired by Kofi Annan) launches its 2014 Africa Progress Report today. It’s an excellent, and very nicely written (heartfelt thanks) overview of some key areas: agriculture, fisheries and finance. Some highlights: ‘For more than a decade, Africa’s economies have been doing well, according to […]

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Is advocacy only feasible in formal democracies? Lessons from 6 multi-stakeholder initiatives in Vietnam

Andrew Wells-Dang (right) and Pham Quang Tu (left) on how multi-stakeholder initiatives can flourish even in relatively closed political systems such as Vietnam How can NGOs be effective advocates in restrictive political settings? Global comparative research (such as this study by CIVICUS on ‘enabling environments’) often concludes that at least a modest degree of formal […]

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How can Governments and Donors support Africa’s Women Farmers?

I got into a bit of hot water recently for a recent post taking down a dodgy stat on women’s land ownership, so it’s nice to be able to post on some really good numbers on gender and agriculture. Levelling the Field: Improving Opportunities for Women Farmers in Africa, is an important and innovative new report (exec […]

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Why the system for managing the world’s food and climate needs to be more like my car

Today, Oxfam is publishing a briefing on its ‘food and climate justice’ campaign. Here’s a post I wrote for the launch. When I get into my car in London, I step into a system designed to get me safely from A to B. It has seat belts, airbags, and an increasing number of electronic warning devices. […]

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Killer factcheck: ‘Women own 2% of land’ = not true. What do we really know about women and land?

Cheryl Doss, a feminist economist at Yale University argues that (as with ‘70% of the world’s poor are women‘ ) we need to stop using the unfounded ‘women own 2% of the world’s farmland’ stat, and start using some of the real numbers that are emerging (while also demanding much better gender data). For advocates, […]

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What can would-be African lions learn from the Asian tigers? It’s all about how urban elites see farmers, according to ODI.

I am both inspired and alarmed by the work coming out of ODI on ‘Developmental Regimes in Africa’. In previous posts, I’ve moaned at some length about its political infatuation with Mussolini style ‘big men’ who get stuff done. But today, it’s time for a happy face. Sources of developmental ambition in Southeast Asia and […]

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